Legislative Affairs

Arizona State Capitol and House of Representatives

2021 Legislative Summary

This summary highlights 2021 bills and budget items that most impact ADEQ, our customers and the larger stakeholder community.  It was an extremely productive legislative session and changes enacted will help accelerate protection of public health and the environment while we strive to provide technical and operational excellence and radical simplicity for customers and staff.

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Important ADEQ and Stakeholder Bills

HB 2691- ADEQ; Water Quality Programs; WOTUS

This legislation authorizes ADEQ to create a permitting program to protect Arizona waters newly deregulated by the federal Waters of the US (WOTUS) definition change effective on June 22, 2020. Without this authority, ADEQ would be unable to proactively protect waters used for drinking, boating, fishing and other recreational activities throughout the state.

H2671 - Underground Storage Tanks; Standards; Reimbursements

This bill repeals the termination of date for the UST excise tax, thus aligning the tax sunset with the ADEQ sunset review process.  This change will allow ADEQ to more effectively and efficiently administer the entire program, including expedited cleanup of leaking underground storage tanks and replacement of old potentially leaking tanks throughout the state.  The bill also clarifies or expands a number of authorities to better serve the needs of tank owners and operators and innocent land owners that are attempting to address contamination released from underground storage tanks.

HB2677 - Agricultural Management Practices; General Permit

Required to conform statute to federal Clean Air Act programmatic requirements necessary for EPA to approve a State Implementation Plan for the Pinal County PM10 non-attainment area. Without enactment of this bill, ADEQ and its partners would have been unable to comply with the Clean Air Act and may have been subject to unilateral action by EPA.

S1370 (Mirror bill to HB2330- Environmental Quality; Program Terminations; Repeal)

This bill repeals individual sunset dates for multiple individual programs within ADEQ, thus eliminating the waste associated with separate sunset review processes for multiple programs without reducing legislative authority and opportunity to review agency operations.

HB2580 - Environmental Quality Omnibus

This bill is the latest in a series of bills enacted to improve the ADEQ regulatory structure by clarifying and align statute.  This bill:

  • Amends A.R.S. §49-425 — Air Quality Public Notices to align with Federal and State regulations related to public hearing notice timeframes.
  • Amends A.R.S. §49-724 — Solid Waste Management Planning and Assistance Distribution of Appropriated Funds to be discretionary instead of mandatory because funds have never been appropriated for the intended purpose, so a rule governing disbursement has never been necessary.
  • Repeals the duplicative requirement of A.R.S. §49-289.01(C) to adopt a process related to Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) boundaries because existing statute and processes already provide sufficient clarity.
  • Repeals A.R.S §49-902 — §49-905 because there are no state-owned hazardous waste facilities, as had been proposed in 1980 when the statute was enacted, and there is no intention of creating one.  This amendment also conforms this portion of statute with A.R.S §49-104(A)(16) which mandates that state statute cannot be more stringent than federal law.
  • Repeals A.R.S §49-426.08 — Hazardous Air Pollutants Study and report since the one-time requirement was satisfied in 1995 and is no longer applicable.
  • Repeals A.R.S §49-542.06 and §49-542.07 — Diesel Roadside Testing Pilot Program and corresponding civil penalties, which was determined in 2002 to be unfeasible.
  • Repeals A.R.S §49-405(B)(2) — Re-designation of an area since the federal Clean Air Act mandates the process, the state statute intent is redundant and could result in inconsistent or confusing regulation.
  • Amends A.R.S §49-964(C) to remove the requirement to include a summary of Pollution Prevention Report Reviews in an annual report because the requirement to produce that annual report was repealed in 2003.
  • Repeals A.R.S §49-834 — Recycled Newsprint Annual Certification Submittal and Review since this provision no longer reflects current economic and supply chain conditions and results in very little or no environmental benefit and unproductive use of staff resources.
  • Amends A.R.S §49-545(G) to remove the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) VEIP Contract review requirement since the requirement for JLBC to review the initial contract was repealed in 2011 and JLBC has not rendered an unfavorable review of any contract amendment for over a decade.
  • Amends A.R.S §49-459 — Clean Power Plan Rule requirement that ADEQ develop a response to the Clean power Plan issued by the EPA, including coordination with and reporting to a legislative committee since the CPP was never adopted by the EPA and the Legislative Committee was repealed in 2018.
  • Amends A.R.S §49-289.03(F)(2) — Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) Community Advisory Board (CAB) Meetings - allow ADEQ to convene CAB meetings in response to a public request or site condition changes instead of on a mandated quarterly basis.

HB2329 - Air Quality; Omnibus

This bill improves a number of elements of statute related to how ADEQ administers the vehicle emissions portion of the federal Clean Air Act including:

  • Extending the VEIP Testing Requirements and Motor Vehicle Dealer Emissions Testing conditional enactment deadline to July 1, 2023.
  • Updating authority to allow ADEQ to study all air pollutants originating from all motor vehicles.
  • Clarifying ADEQ’s authority to act as the program administrator for the VVRP and enhancing the program to increase customer participation.

HB2042 - Aquifer Protection Permits; Injection Wells

This bill amends A.R.S. §49-250, §46-257.01, and §49-324 to remove duplication of requirements once ADEQ obtains Underground Injection Controls (UIC) primacy from EPA in early 2022. It also aligns statute to more closely align with EPA primacy requirements, thus facilitating faster EPA approval of ADEQ's primacy request.

HB2043 - Underground Storage Tanks; Performance Standards 

Signed into law (Laws 2021, Chapter 37) by the Governor on February 26, 2021.

Since Arizona does not have UST state program approval from EPA, UST owners and operators are subject to both federal and state regulatory structures. Aligning of state statute with federal regulations will bring into alignment the two regulatory frameworks intended to accomplish the same environmental outcome, thus reducing confusion and reducing risk of adverse environmental outcomes. 

In addition, this change will align this portion of UST statute with the requirement in A.R.S §49-104(A)(16) mandating that state statute cannot be more stringent than federal law.

Additional Bills

HB2758 – Emissions Inspection; Collectible Vehicles; Dealers (Laws 2021, Chapter 116) | View/Download PDF >

SB1156 – Solid Waste; Advanced Recycling Facilities (Laws 2021, Chapter 277) | View/Download PDF >

SB1258 – State of Emergency; Tolling; Permits (Laws 2021, Chapter 212) | View/Download PDF >

SB1307 – Water; Wastewater System; Corrective Action (Laws 2021, Chapter 214) | View/Download PDF >

SB1366 – Remediated Groundwater Use; Extension (Laws 2021, Chapter 272) | View/Download PDF >

Key Budget Successes

  • $15 million from General Fund for the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF).
  • One-time appropriation - transfers from surplus funds into Water Quality Fee Fund (WQFF) to support $1.16 million for Surface Water Protection Program and other critical program needs.
  • One-time transfer of $604,000 to Hazardous Waste Management Fund from Solid Waste Fee Fund.
  • $1M to Small Water Systems Fund to facilitate safe and reliable drinking water for small communities.
    • While a Water Infrastructure Financing Authority (WIFA) fund, funding priorities are determined by ADEQ, in consultation with WIFA and the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) as appropriate.
  • $1.5M one time transfer from recycling to WQFF to address immediate budget shortfall.